How to Successfully Manage BYOD Security

We’ve talked about Bring Your own Device (BYOD) on the blog before, and it’s still a topic that’s generating a lot of conversation. If managed successfully, implementing a BYOD policy at your organization can have positive implications. Employees enjoy using hardware they’re familiar with and there’s no learning curve to get comfortable with a new device. There have also been reports of spikes in employee productivity. But we all know that no new solution is free from complications.

A recent opinion piece by Jack Gold shared on Computer World, entitled ‘Has BYOD Peaked?’ got me thinking again about the security needed for a successful BYOD experience. Gold raises many important points in his discussion of the topic. While not downplaying the importance of BYOD, Gold believes organizations need to crack down on lackadaisical mobile device policies. These same policies are giving way to organizations claiming to not yet having suffered from a mobile security breach – something Gold dismisses as blissfully ignorant thinking. In the end, Gold believes that two large scale changes will take place in the BYOD space by 2015: mobile devices will become more enterprise friendly and BYOD openness will be impacted by stricter controls and policies.

I agree – especially when it comes to security. BYOD can be a security grey area. How will you implement BYOD in your office? How do you dictate what an employee can do on a mobile device they own? There are a lot of questions, but luckily there’s a logical first step: start with a security policy.

Your security policy will create a concrete set of guidelines covering BYOD best practices and ground rules for employees to adhere to when using their mobile device for corporate activity. Some topics that should be included are password strength on the device, what devices are permitted, permissions surrounding the downloading of apps and what happens to the device and information when the employee leaves the business.

If you’re choosing to implement a BYOD policy in your workplace, be prepared for changes. Nothing you create today should remain static well into next year, or even the next six months for that matter. Be prepared to roll with the punches and make changes where applicable. Your customers, and the confidential information you store, will be glad you did.

Does your organization have a successful BYOD policy in place? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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